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Firm to Evaluate Feasibility of NKY Convention Center Expansion

The Northern Kentucky Convention & Visitors Bureau (meetNKY) has selected a firm to evaluate the feasibility of expanding the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington.

Minneapolis-based Conventions, Sports & Leisure International (CSL) was chosen, and has worked on hundreds of such studies across the country.

Four firms sought the bid from meetNKY.

“CSL has very impressive credentials and experience," said Northern Kentucky Convention Center Executive Director Gretchen Landrum. "They have provided consulting services to over 1,000 convention, conference, hospitality and other visitor industry-related facility projects throughout North America. A large part of their work has been done in our region, including Cincinnati, Covington, Louisville and Lexington."

The feasibility will take 12 to 14 weeks to complete and will focus on three key areas of future development, said meetNKY President & CEO Eric Summe.

"The first phase will be a comprehensive market analysis, looking at the Northern Kentucky destination and the RiverCenter area, to make projections on visitor and convention and meeting growth," Summe said. "The following two phases will focus on funding and design."

The state-owned Center opened in 1998 and has been the topic of expansion talks for nearly a decade.

"Conventions, meetings and groups using our Center has been an integral part of increasing tourism and visitor expenditures," Summe said. "As such, we have been considering plans to grow our Center for a number of years as our business increases.  Now is the time to take this important step to ensure our Center is competitive for years to come.”

Last year, Northern Kentucky counties approved a 1 percent increase in the region's transient room (hotel) tax to raise an additional $1.2 to $1.5 million per year to generate funds for the expansion of the center.

-Staff report

Photo via meetNKY